Heading into the final game of a three game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox stand at 34-27 and are three games out of first place in the American League East. It certainly isn’t a bad position to be in, but the expectations were higher heading into the season. With that said, the Red Sox are in a great position and are loaded with talent. There are many conventional names that stand out as All Star caliber on this team. Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price, Craig Kimbrel all have been All Star players over the last few seasons. There’s one player on this team who continues to get overlooked both from a talent and impact standpoint…
Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to not get the credit he has earned in Boston. He’s typically viewed as an elite defender who is a borderline MLB starter due to a perceived weak bat. Granted, the point about Bradley being inconsistent at the plate is a valid one. However, his value at the plate is severely underrated. Is he a Silver Slugger caliber hitter? No. Is he an above average outfielder at the plate? Absolutely!
Here are some numbers the Bradley has put together that may surprise you.
- Since May 5, 2016 (173 games), Bradley has 33 home runs and 101 RBI.
- In 2016, Bradley’s ranks amongst AL outfielders were as follows:
- Home Runs – 7th (26)
- RBI – 4th (87)
- OPS – 4th (.835)
- Extra Base Hits – 4th (63)
- Only three AL outfielders had more Home Runs and RBI that Bradley in 2016: Khris Davis, Mookie Betts, and Mike Trout. Trout and Betts finished first and second in the AL MVP Race.
- Heading into Saturday’s game, here are Bradley’s ranks on the Red Sox in the last 30 days:
- Hits – 3rd (22)
- Home Runs – 1st (6)
- RBI – 1st (20)
- OPS – 2nd (.899)
Do these look like numbers of a player who is a liability at the plate?
The reality is that Red Sox Nation is watching a unique player who can impact the game in the field and at the plate. It’s too bad that many fans aren’t realizing it. Jackie Bradley Jr. wins games.
The last two nights at Fenway Park were perfect examples of how Bradley can take over a game. On Friday Night, in a 3-3 game in the 8th inning, he launched a 435 foot home run well over the Tigers bullpen to win the game. Last night, Bradley made two highlight catches in the first inning. The Tigers put two runners on base and didn’t score. If Bradley doesn’t make those plays, it’s a completely different game for Chris Sale and the Red Sox. Very few players in Major League Baseball are capable of impacting the game the way Bradley did the past two nights.
About a month ago, there was talk of a platoon with Bradley on a permanent basis. John Farrell was buying in and he benched JBJ twice against lefties. The reality is that, without Bradley, the Red Sox lose a player who can take over a game…just like he has done twice in this series against the Tigers.
Enjoy watching the most underrated player on the Boston Red Sox – Jackie Bradley Jr.. You won’t see many special talents who can impact a game defensively like he can along with a power bat…now or ever.